Writing for the Environment Award 2020

Through the RD Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize, SSEC continues to value the role and place of writing in helping to shape a sustainable world – healthy people living on a healthy planet. The competition is for people who are Australian citizens and 25 years or younger.

There were two age categories, under 18, and 18-25.  Submissions on the topic, “I am Earth”, ranged from pleas for help from Mother Nature and sci-fi stories of a future Earth, to stories of hope about helping to make the planet healthy again.

Finding the winning pieces from such quality is a tough task. The process was thorough – and took some time!

Under 18 winner and finalists –

Winner: Katrina Hayler for her story, I am.
Runner-up: Laura Wrigley-Carr for The General.
Highly commended: Jessica Cash for her piece, The End.

18-25 winner and finalists –

Winner: Olivia Rushin for Germinate
Runner-up: Dakota Brown with Lungs on Fire.
Highly commended: Thompson Brinkworth with A Safe Bet.

Pat Strong Award for a Young Writer

Another award is being given this year. The Sutherland Shire Writers Group has now also offered a prize of $100 for a junior writer.  The prize will be called the Pat Strong Award.  Pat Strong was a foundation member of the Sutherland Shire Writers Group – the group Bob Walshe set up 50 years ago. She is still writing, and she helped judge this year’s submissions (for the under 18 category). 

The inaugural award goes to Charlee Rose Murtough-Coombes with her story, Tired, Tired Earth.


One of our judges, Pam Cook, is a published author. She said this:

All entries were of a very high standard and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I truly hope these writers continue developing their talents and I do think the Earth is in good hands if the sentiments expressed in these pieces are indicative of the attitudes of our young in relation to caring for the Earth. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read these fabulous pieces of writing.

For more information, please contact Phil Smith phil@ssec.org.au or on 0412 338 687.

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